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Letters to the Editor: Time for Newsom to stand up to teachers’ unions and reopen schools

A chain and padlock keeps a gate closed.
A padlock keeps the campus of Short Avenue Elementary School in Mar Vista closed on July 13, 2020.
(Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: Public sector unions are the most powerful political force in California, and the California Teachers Assn. knows it can keep many of its members home at full pay behind a smokescreen about the safety of in-person instruction. (“To get vaccine priority, teachers should agree to return to the classroom,” editorial, Jan. 26)

Meanwhile, around the country and the world, schools and youth sports are going on just fine in person.

The cost is not only the well-documented harm to kids, particularly lower-income and minority kids, but also to the credibility of the state’s COVID-19 policies. When the public can tell that the rules are about politics and special interests rather than science and safety, it’s no wonder that people ignore them.

If Gov. Gavin Newsom wants to start rebuilding his credibility, getting in-person instruction started as soon as possible would be the best first step.

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Chris Seiber, Newport Beach

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To the editor: Thank you for your editorial advocating vaccine priority for teachers who go back to the classroom.

Our almighty teachers unions are once again putting the kibosh on returning to on-campus instruction. Now that vaccinating teachers is imminent, they have once again moved the goal post for returning to the classroom.

What would happen if doctors, nurses and first responders refused to go to work because “it was too risky”?

Carol Graham, Northridge

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To the editor: Why aren’t public schools being used as primary vaccination centers?

Most of them have nurses, and some have clinics. Campuses are being underutilized because of remote learning, and most are within walking distance of residents and are trusted centers within the neighborhood.

Teachers could be vaccinated at their local school site, and that could expedite the reopening of in-person learning. It makes sense to use the infrastructure we already have to speed up this process.

June Thompson, Los Angeles


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